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Getting to know me

  1. Since running across the article which sparked my whole light bulb moment re: Aspergers/ASD1 in mid-April, I've been discovering so much about myself. It is like when I got my first pair of glasses in elementary school and discovered that there were power lines strung between the hydro poles outside my optometrist's office. All those things about myself that were blurred and felt wrong when I compared them to how other people seemed to live their lives suddenly came into focus. I look at past and present experiences and understandings and everything just makes sense through this new lense.

    In a very real sense I've been groping about for these "spectacles" for years, trying to find the explanation for why I am the way I am. When I was introduced to the Four Humors personality types many years ago, the ball started rolling. I learned about Introverts vs Extroverts and another piece of the puzzle fell into place. I read about the Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) and it was similar in some senses, but didn't quite fit. When I discovered Myers-Briggs (MBTI), I jumped from type to type till I settled on INTP. But even that didn't fit quite as well, not did it explain so much about certain parts of my experience, as being autistic does now. It's like I've been finding the edges of a puzzle and thinking the blue was sky when really it was sea, but since I didn't have the right prescription, I wasn't able to tell the difference.

    The veil has been lifted now and I'm learning so much about how I function and . . . everything just makes sense, as I wrote before. It's very liberating. And knowing that certain things are true of me and my experience of the world has also given me the confidence to ask for things that I might not otherwise have asked for.

    At the moment I'm self-diagnosed, which for me, leaves me with the eternal question of "am I really autistic?" despite all the evidence I have compiled and all the research and reading I have done, despite the checklists and quizzes. I do take comfort in something I read recently: most NT people would not willingly self-diagnose as autistic. Which makes sense. And yet my innate self-doubt of my own experience persists in leaving the question open until proven "officially". I won't be able to pursue any official diagnosis for a year, due to my current work/life/location situation, which I think is good. I can live with this and see how it fits over time and see how my self-knowledge grows as a result. I also feel like getting an official diagnosis would make me feel hemmed in and confined, since there could be repercussions I can't foresee. But living with it unofficially for a while gives me time to adjust and continue exploring what this means for me.

    About Author

    Self-diagnosed ASD1 for now. Somehow only just discovered Autism and Aspergers and ... it explains my life.


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  1. Paper Kite
    I know what you mean... I'm in a very similar position -- the sense of relief and the lightbulb going off in my brain at the possibility that I may be aspie, after a lifetime of struggling in so many ways, and messing things up and not understanding why I do. Of course, the relief doesn't change the fact that I still need to figure out how to live, and what to do about the depression, etc. I too haven't received an official diagnosis and, like you, not able to get one for at least another year. I'm not sure I need or want one either....